Kelly: “I do have spiritual support from Opus Dei”

DAVID FROST: There two two-page spreads about Opus Dei in the papers today, and saying they’re not secretive and all of that and so on, and says the Scotsman said yesterday that it’s not a secret organisation and that you’re a member of it. Are you a member of it?

RUTH KELLY: Well I, along with any other politician, I think are entitled to a degree of privacy in my private life. And I do have a private spiritual life, and I’m completely open about that. People know that I’m a Catholic and that I take it seriously. And I come to this job, you know, as a Catholic as well as as a parent and with all sorts of other influences. But the one thing I’m absolutely clear about David, is that I have a really collective responsibility as part of this Labour government…

DAVID FROST: But are you a member of Opus Dei?

RUTH KELLY: Well I do have spiritual support from Opus Dei, and, you know, I think that’s right. But these are private, these are private spiritual matters and I’m sure that you’ll respect that politicians are entitled to a private life.

DAVID FROST: Yes, yes, but at the same time, as you yourself have said quite a lot of times that, you’ve been quoted as saying anyway, that you wouldn’t want to go to health international development because of policies there that you would find difficult to take on whether it’s to do with abortion or contraception or whatever. So it does have an effect on your career, it would stop you going to those two places.

RUTH KELLY: Well let me just be absolutely clear, it wouldn’t….

DAVID FROST: Oh! Because it’s in every profile, every profile…

RUTH KELLY: I know, well it just shows you how rumours grow and things develop a life of their own. I mean I am absolutely clear that as a member of this Government I have collective responsibility for government policy. So as a member of the Cabinet responsible for education, I also have responsibility for those policies developed in the Health Department and in the international development department and so forth. And I stand by those.

Tom Sackville, a former Conservative minister who chairs Family Action and Information Resource, a support group for cult victims says the organisation had many complaints from families who had “lost” their children to Opus Dei, which made members pay it up to 80 per cent of their salaries, he said. “Of all the Cabinet posts an Opus Dei member could hold, Education Secretary is the most dangerous because the main problem with the cult is their recruitment of young people at colleges and universities. Ruth Kelly is a very competent politician and very well educated. But nobody in high office who is also a member of a cult is stable enough to make government policy.”

That wouldn’t be the Tom Sackville who lost his seat to Ruth Kelly?




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